Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Specialized-function cities are dominated by one or two related industries that comprise the majority of the economic base of the area. Rochester, Minnesota is a prime example of such a city. The case of Rochester challenges much of conventional theory regarding economic diversification and spillovers of different economic systems. This case study presents new ideas regarding these spillovers and the success of specializations, as well as provides an in-depth analysis of the affect the Mayo Clinic - a premier medical facility – has on the local infrastructure and economy. This study illustrates how the healthcare industry has shaped Rochester's urban form; with particular emphasis being placed on the characteristics, expansion, and zoning of the Central Business District. The study also examines the unique public-private partnership between the City and the Mayo Clinic that has formed as a result of the intense specialization, and how the nature of this relationship shapes development discourse along with urban growth mechanics. This collaborative effort contributes to the use of the medical industry as a tool for urban and economic development in Rochester



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